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Ann B. Burns

Ann Burns assists business owners and families in matters pertaining to estate and charitable gift planning, business succession planning, estate and trust administration, and fiduciary and tax litigation.

As a certified public accountant (inactive), Ann provides her clients with legal insight informed by a practical understanding of the intricacies of tax law and financial planning. She represents multi-generational families of wealth throughout the country, assisting and guiding them in their relationships with trustees and other advisors. Ann also represents individual and corporate trustees in fiduciary controversies in state and federal courts.

While Ann’s clients value the depth of her legal acumen, they especially appreciate her clarity and sensitivity in navigating the unique interpersonal dynamics that can impact the estate-planning process. She collaborates closely with her clients and their advisors to ensure a long-term plan that not only satisfies their financial needs, but also reflects their core personal values.

In recognition of her knowledge in the field, Ann was elected President of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, for which she has served as a regent since 2013. Ann is also a past practice group chair at the firm. In addition, she has been a featured speaker for the Salvation Army’s annual Estate and Charitable Gift Planning Institute.

Outside her legal practice, Ann served as a member of the board of trustees for The Minneapolis Foundation, where she provided oversight and guidance for the foundation’s efforts to promote education, economic development, and civic engagement in the Minneapolis community.

Recent Presentations

  • Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, frequent presenter from 2005-present on subjects including tax controversies; Section 2053 regulations; integrating estate plans with business succession planning; disclaiming assets, interests, and powers; and using exclusions
  • The Salvation Army – Annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Seminar, frequent co‑presenter from 2014 to 2021 on subjects including representing families and fiduciaries; planning strategies for the small, medium, and large estate; tailoring estate planning by adapting traditional techniques; and estate planning check-ups
  • American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, frequent co-presenter from 2012-present on subjects including handling the toughest issues in the operation and succession of a family business; estate planning best practices for large estate business interest owners; and estate planning strategies in current tax law environment; and tax litigation
  • Annual Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, presenter from 2016 to 2021 on subjects including family businesses and ethical dilemmas that estate and business planners face
  • American Bar Association – Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section CLE, panelist in 2017 on disclaimers

Presentations

  • Presenter, "Keeping It All in the Family: Business Succession Planning Strategies to Keep the Family and the Business Intact,” 40th Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium Annual Conference, April 23, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, "Saving the Best for Last: Ethical Dilemmas Estate and Business Planners Face," 36th Annual Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, April 2017
  • Panelist, "Disclaimers," American Bar Association Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section CLE, February 2017
  • "Don't Put Your Clients' Estate Plans on the Shelf," What Matters Most 2016 in Trusts & Estates Practice, Minnesota CLE, October 2016
  • Co-Presenter, "The Annual Estate Planning Check-Up," 24th Annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Seminar, The Salvation Army, September 2016
  • "Family Businesses: Keep It, Sell It, Give It Away," 35th Annual Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, April 2016
  • Co-Presenter, "Tailoring the Estate Planning Wardrobe: Adapting Traditional Techniques for a Better Fit," 23rd Annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Seminar, The Salvation Army, September 2015
  • Co-Presenter, "Entering and Exiting Estate Planning Strategies in the Current Tax Law Environment," ACTEC Annual Meeting, March 2015
  • "Representing Families and Fiduciaries," 22nd Annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Seminar, The Salvation Army, September 2014
  • Co-Presenter, "Where Do We Go From Here? Planning Strategies for the Small, Medium and Large Estate," 22nd Annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Seminar, The Salvation Army, September 2014
  • Co-Presenter, "Estate Planning Best Practices for Large Estate Business Interest Owners," ACTEC Summer Meeting, June 2012
  • Co-Presenter, "How to Handle the Toughest Issues in the Operation and Succession of a Family Business," ACTEC Summer Meeting June 2012
  • "They Say You Can't Take It With You--But How Do You Give It Away? Using The $5 Million Exclusion Amount," 46th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2012
  • Co-Presenter, "Integrating the Estate Plan with Business Succession Planning," 44th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2010
  • Co-Presenter, "Qualified Disclaimers--What Part of 'No' Don't You Understand," 44th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2010
  • "Thanks, But No Thanks--Disclaiming Assets, Interests, and Powers," 44th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2010
  • "Deductive Reasoning: Section 2053 Proposed Regulations--Take the Guesswork out of Deductible Claims," 41st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2008
  • "Life Settlements, an Overview," ACTEC Business Planning Committee, March 2007
  • Moderator, “A Wild Decade at Mid-Life," 40th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2006
  • "Mathematics and Economics for Estate Planners," Cannon Financial Estate Planning Webcast, May 2005
  • "Tax Controversy Work: Winning Cases through Mastering Procedure," 39th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, January 2005
  • "The IRS Appeals Process," ACTEC Annual Meeting, June 2003

Publications

  • Co-Authored, "Business Succession Planning Answer Book," Commerce Clearing House, January 2011
  • "Disclaiming Assets, Interests, and Powers," LexisNexis 2010 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Volume 44, January 2010
  • "The Increased Exemption Creates Opportunity," Trusts & Estates, March 2009
  • "Section 2053 Proposed Regulations," Trusts & Estates, July 2008
  • "Deductible Reasoning: Section 2053 Proposed Regulations--Take The Guess Work Out of Deductible Claims," LexisNexis 2008 Heckling Institute on Estate Planning, Volume 42, January 2008

Client Alerts and Blog Posts

News Releases

Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), immediate Past President, 2022; President, 2021; President-elect, 2020; vice president, 2019; treasurer, 2018; secretary, 2017; regent, 2013–present; fellow, 1995–present; Business Planning Committee, chair, 2014–2018

Community Involvement

  • The Minneapolis Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2011–2020
  • Greater Twin Cities United Way, Founding Member, Women's Leadership Council and Annual Campaign Cabinet, 2009–2011

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 1995–2022
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer®,” Thomson/Reuters, 2012–2021
    • "The Top 50 Women," 2010-2021
    • "The Top 100," 2017-2021
    • "The Top 100 Women," 2005-2009
Photo of Ann B. Burns
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
F: 612.632.4402

Assistant

Lisa Peterson Hall
612.632.3393
Email

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court

Education

University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1981

Iowa State University, 1978, undergraduate degree

Clerkship(s)

  • Law clerk for the Honorable Judge Donald R. Ross, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals